3D printed gas turbine demonstrator

A true to scale Siemens SGT6-8000 H gas turbine has been developed by The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) and the German engineering service provider  H+E-Produktentwicklung.

The model was printed with 68 3D printed parts, replacing about 3,000 parts, aluminum, steel, and titanium were all used. The purpose is to demonstrate the capabilities of powder bed-based additive manufacturing technologies.

The manufacturers explored multiple 3D printing processes for this project due to the intricacy of gas turbine parts, looking for optimal surface roughness and assets requiring support structures.

Ti-6Al-4V housing components were produced using an Arcam Q20plus Electron Beam Melting (EBM) system afterwards H+E used Laser Beam Melting (LBM) technology to produce the turbine stages, the designers adapted the shaft and turbine stages to rotate freely between the stator stages for demonstrating functionality.

Fraunhofer institutes aim to exploit various laser-based technologies for the mass production of such parts. Professor Reinhard Baumann of Fraunhofer ENAS, and project coordinator of Go Beyond 4.0, said: “At first, it sounds paradoxical to produce unique products in mass production lines. However, if the digital manufacturing technologies of inkjet printing and laser processing are cleverly integrated into mass production environments, the respective products can be individualized in line.”

 

Essop, Anas, et al. “Fraunhofer IFAM and H+E-Produktentwicklung Develop 3D Printed Gas Turbine Demonstrator.” 3D Printing Industry, 20 Sept. 2019, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/fraunhofer-ifam-and-he-produktentwicklung-develop-3d-printed-gas-turbine-demonstrator-161939/.